During the closing months of World War I in late 1918 and the break-up of the historic multinational empires that for centuries had ruled most of East Central Europe, it became common practice for the varying ethnolinguistic or national groups to form councils whose goals were to determine their group's political future. These national councils, as they came to be known, seemed to appear everywhere, but perhaps most frequently in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was not only the “large” former minorities like the Czechs, Poles, Slovaks, Croats, Slovenes, Romanians, or Ukrainians who formed national councils, but many smaller groups acted in the same way. And, like the national councils of the larger groups who very soon created independent republics alone or in cooperation with their immediate neighbors, so, too, did some of these smaller groups proclaim their independence. Thus, in the newspapers of the time and scholarly monographs of today one can still find references to the Baranya, East Slovak, Hutsul, or Przemysl “republics” among others, which during the last few months of 1918 seemed to sprout up like mushrooms after a rainfall, but which for the most part ceased to exist when the borders of East Central Europe began to stabilize as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that opened its deliberations in early 1919.